LUZERNE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE -- Last year in Luzerne County, there were 156 confirmed overdose deaths. A deputy county coroner says that number could go up as he waits for lab results on suspected overdose deaths.
The deputy coroner says overdose deaths have increased in the county over the last four years.
Administrators at Luzerne County Community College want to try to help with that problem.
"We started looking into this program because of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania and a call for people to help," said Cheryl Lesser, LCCC vice president of academic affairs.
LCCC has launched a program where students can receive an addiction recovery diploma.
The diploma is designed to prepare students for work in the drug and alcohol recovery field.
"With that diploma, those who are interested can elect to go into associates program in human services or social work, and with the human services program, they can go right into the field to begin to work," explained social sciences professor Janis Wilson Seeley.
The diploma will be especially useful for those who want to become certified recovery specialists.
"A certified recovery specialist is a person that works very hands-on with people in recovery. They're in recovery themselves, actually, and they're not enough folks better prepared and this program is helping to prepare those students," said Lesser.
We spoke to prospective students on campus to see what they think about the program.
"I think it's like important. I'm happy to hear that. It stuck out to me and I'm happy that people are going to get that opportunity," Anthony Ross said.
LCCC has about a dozen people registered for its diploma program.
There is still time to register for classes at the college before the next semester starts on January 14.